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2011 October 13 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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RIP Dennis Ritchie

The BBC notes that one of the world class bit-fiddlers, Dennis Ritchie has died at age 70.

Back in the days when US corporations actually spent money on research and development, Dennis was part of the group at Bell Labs that wrote UNIX, and then created C to make porting UNIX to other machine architecture easier.

Ken Thompson, Dennis, and some others had a machine [I think it was a DEC PDP-7] that was available, but didn’t have an operating system, so they wrote one.

Since AT&T wasn’t in the software business, they essentially gave UNIX to universities for the cost of a letter requesting it in the early days. That’s a primary reason why UNIX and it’s derivatives are such an integral part of the Internet and so widespread in the university system.

As the name implies, UNIX was initially a single-user operating system, but, well, ‘anyone’ can write a single user system, so …

October 13, 2011   7 Comments

Graphically Speaking

If you like graphs and charts that show what has been going on, and why the 99% are in such trouble, I have two links for you.

The Business Insider has a collection that relies on the FRED [Federal Reserve Economic Data] tools that Krugman uses frequently.

Connect the Dots USA has more colorful charts, but their slide show is a PDF file. Individual slides are available on the site as JPEGs.

Yes, things are as bad as you thought, and the politicians aren’t going to do anything as long as the MOTU are allowed to buy elections.

October 13, 2011   8 Comments

Selling Their Seed

The Harrisburg , Pennsylvania bankruptcy is another example of government trying to give everything away to the financial sector.

In addition to the problems caused by the GOPression, 20% of the people in the city were flooded out recently, and the tax base has collapsed. Their major bone of contention is a city guarantee on bonds issued years ago to build a new incinerator for the area. The city doesn’t have the money to continue the bond payments and maintain services.

The state has been proposing a take-over of finances that features the now standard wage concessions by workers, and the sale or lease of the city’s assets, parking garages and meters.

As those assets are an income source, why anyone would think that selling or leasing them would be anything more than a stop-gap measure that just puts off the default is beyond me. A majority of the city council voted to file for bankruptcy, and now the mayor and the state are fighting the decision.

The city council thinks that bond holders should share in the pain, but the mayor and state want to protect them from any ‘inconvenience’.

October 13, 2011   Comments Off on Selling Their Seed

This Is Why I Read Him

Duncan can come up with one-liners: “After I clicked through I realized the New York Times is perhaps a commendable jobs program for special needs people.”

October 13, 2011   Comments Off on This Is Why I Read Him